Tickets for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s speaking engagements in the U.S. have sold out very quickly, often within minutes or hours of when they went on sale. Clearly, Americans are interested in His Holiness’ teachings on love and compassion.
It is truly wonderful that Americans have abundant opportunities to see His Holiness. In contrast, Tibetans in Tibet are burning themselves to death. Tibetans can be imprisoned for owning a small photo of His Holiness and, of course, they cannot receive teachings from him in Tibet.
While Tibetan Buddhist groups seem to be popping up on every street corner in the US, interest in the Buddhist community about the preservation of Tibet’s culture and religious freedom does not seem to be increasing. I recently attended several pro Tibet events in Washington D.C., and there were very few non-Tibetans.
China definitely pays attention to who attends these events. Chinese spies estimate the size of the crowds. Rumor has it that being photographed at a protest gets your name on the black list for travel to Tibet. A suspicious Chinese individual was spotted at an event with the Gaden monks that was sponsored by the Guhyasamaja Center.
Over 50 TIbetans have self immolated since February 2009. Imagine that out of desperation, you burn yourself to death, and no one cares. Mainstream media has paid little attention to the burnings. Similarly, the American Buddhist community has paid little attention to the burnings.
As Buddhists who are followers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, it is our responsibility and moral obligation to do all we can to help stop the cultural genocide in Tibet, to protect the Tibetan people, and to preserve the Buddha’s teachings for everyone to share.
This is putting the teachings into practice. After all, we want a Fifteenth Dalai Lama, don’t we?
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